Dr. Fehmida Mirza Calls for Reinvigoration of a Meaningful Spirit of Partnership among Women across the World to Address the Plight of Women Subjected to Discrimination and Violence
Dr. Fehmida Mirza, Speaker National Assembly has said that denial of equal opportunities and gender inequality was the biggest obstacle to the progress of the womenfolk. She called upon the international community to take necessary measures to protect and ensure equal opportunities to women so that they could work for the progress and prosperity of their respective countries. She said this while addressing the International Women’s Day Summit being held in Ankara, Turkey, today, according to a message received from Turkey.
Madam Speaker said that no nation can make progress without the active participation of women and no struggle can succeed without women participating side by side with men. She said that Islam recognized women as equal human beings and granted them rights to inherit, own property, engage in trade and work in other spheres of life. “The suffering of the women amply demonstrates that women were not mere victims of that viscous denial of those opportunities but that gender inequality was also the biggest obstacle to progress, justice and social stability as it continued to deprive a nation of a significant source of human potential”, she said.
She said that the oppression against women could be addressed by ensuring continuity of democratic processes within our respective countries and guaranteeing a world-wide zero tolerance attitudes towards women. She said that through active involvement of women at the highest forums of decision-making, could achieve the desired objectives. She said that the performance of the parliaments where women were able to attain the critical mass, depicted that such countries had higher social and economic standards of living, lower rates of infant and maternal mortality and more equitable access to opportunities.
Dr. Fehmida Mirza called for reinvigoration of a meaningful spirit of partnership among women across the world to address the plight of millions of our less-fortunate women who suffered in silence as discrimination and violence against them remains on rise in the East and the West alike. She called for pursuing policy of literacy and education among women to ensure their social and economic empowerment. She said that the women should influence their parliaments to revisit the statutes books and bring legislations which address women’s concerns.
Madam Speaker said that return to democracy in Pakistan had always brought hope and opened new vistas to women. The first popularly elected Government of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto gave a consensus constitution that not only accepted women as equal citizens but also opened doors of public offices, higher education and professional carriers on them. Expressing her gratitude to Mohtrama Benzair Bhutto, Dr. Fehmida Mirza said that the two governments of Shaheed Mohtarma, were the turning points in addressing institutional discrimination against women head-on. She said that under Mohtaram’s dynamic and courageous leadership, a direction for women’s rights and empowerment was set that was irreversible and was followed by successive governments until today. She said that creation of Ministry of Women Development, signing of CEDAW, establishment of First Women Bank & Women Police Stations, appointment of Women Judges to Superior Courts and ensuring quota for women in government jobs were the land mark achievements of the Mohtaram’s government.
She said that the present government was also pursuing policy of bringing a silent revolution through a dynamic scheme of Benazir Income Support Programme, which places monetary assistance directly into the hands of the most vulnerable women of our society. She said that the government had transferred the ownership of state lands in the name of landless women peasants, passage of landmark legislations by the parliament for protect women from domestic violence to make their harassment at workplace a strictly punishable crime.
The appreciated the efforts of the Turkish government for holding the International Women’s Day summit in Turkey which provided the women across the world to engage in dialogue and share their experiences for women empowerment.
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